I see spots, part 3: Handling spot colors in InDesign

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Galleries

Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 11:49 am | Updated: 1:50 pm, Wed Mar 23, 2011.

In my last column, we examined the procedure of properly converting spot colors into accurate process color equivalents within Adobe Illustrator.

This month we will continue our exploration of spot color conversions, this time using Adobe InDesign.

It is possible to get the same, accurate results when converting spot colors to process equivalents no matter whether you are using Photoshop, Illustrator, or as we will soon see, InDesign. It is important to have the correct settings and use the correct procedures.

Naturally, these procedures are different for each application. Hey, if it were easy we wouldn't need graphic arts in the first place, would we?

To demonstrate this proper procedure in InDesign, I'll begin by putting together a set of spot color samples in Illustrator (see Figure 1). I've taken one of the spot colors, Pantone 354 C, and converted it within Illustrator using the procedure detailed in my last column and the standard SNAP ICC Profile. As you can see from the dialog box, this color converts to a CMYK equivalent of approximately 80/1/100/0, which is the same value produced by Photoshop. I then saved the Illustrator file in the Illustrator EPS format.

Ready to convert

Figure 2 shows the default Swatches panel in InDesign. After importing the Illustrator EPS file you will see that the spot colors contained within the Illustrator file have been automatically added to the Swatches panel (Figure 3). Next, I added another instance of the Pantone 354 C swatch directly within InDesign (Figure 4). I'm now ready to convert my spot colors to their process equivalents.

I'll begin by selecting the Ink Manager option from the Swatches panel drop-down menu (Figure 5). From the Ink Manager panel (Figure 6), I need to ensure that both the "all Spots to Process" and the "Use Standard Lab Values for Spots" option checkboxes located at the bottom of the panel are checked. This will ensure that the spot color L*a*b* values - the numbers that indicate what the color should actually look like - are used when converting the spot colors. Failure to check the Lab option box means that InDesign will simply use the default CMYK values no matter which ICC Profile you are using for your conversions.

Today, where graphics are involved, most workflows are set up to process two basic file types: EPS and PDF. If I want to generate an EPS file I will need to make sure that the appropriate destination ICC Profile is selected in the Color Settings Panel. As shown in Figure 7, I have selected the standard SNAP Profile.

From the File>Export menu I can select from amongst several file type options, including EPS and PDF. If I select the EPS option I will be presented with the dialog box shown in Figure 8. For accurate spot color conversion you can select to generate either a PostScript Type 2 or Type 3 file using the CMYK color model. If, instead, I select to export a PDF file, I will see the dialog box shown in Figure 9. For correct spot color conversion I will need to select the option to have InDesign "Convert to

Destination" and select the appropriate Destination ICC Profile, in this example the SNAP Profile.

When following the above steps I will generate either an EPS or a PDF file where the spot colors have been accurately converting using L*a*b* reference values and my desired ICC Profile and where all three of the Pantone 354 C swatches have identical CMYK values. The results will match the conversions demonstrated in prior columns when Photoshop or Illustrator were used. Give it a try and prove it to yourself.

Next time we will look at how one final graphic application handles spot colors.

 

John Nate is technical sales manager for EFI. He can be reached at 262.691.1290 or john.nate@efi.com.

 

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Little to leave NAA in August
Posted: March 27, 2015

Newspaper Association of America President and CEO Caroline Little said she will step down from her post on Aug. 31.

Graph Expo '16 moving to Fla.
Updated: March 24, 2015 - 7:48 am

Graph Expo 2016 will take place September 25 – 28, 2016 in Orlando, Fla., at the Orange County Convention Center, said the Graphic Arts Show Co.

MPP Global adds metering module
Updated: March 24, 2015 - 7:59 am

Paywall platform provider MPP Global said it’s launched a new metering and entitlements module to its eSuite software in a bid to offer scalable, flexible services for controlling consumer access to content.

Apollo Global Management frontrunner for DFM
Posted: March 23, 2015

Reuters reported that Apollo Global Management is in advanced talks to purchase most of the assets of Digital First Media for around $400 million.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard